This month, authorities in Vietnam killed 15 dogs and a cat because the animals’ guardians tested positive for COVID-19 after traveling to Cà Mau from Ho Chi Minh City.
Cà Mau officials violated Vietnam’s law that animals must be treated for diseases. The head of Vietnam’s General Department of Preventive Medicine has stated that there’s no guideline saying that animals must be killed because of COVID-19.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “[T]here is no evidence that companion animals … such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19.” If an infected person pets a dog and leaves the novel coronavirus on the animal’s fur, that’s no different from leaving it on a doorknob, a handrail, another human hand, or any other surface.
PETA has rushed a letter to officials in Vietnam, urging them to stop killing animal companions when their guardians contract COVID-19. We’re also pushing for all departments and officials of cities, districts, and wards in Vietnam as well as guards at all checkpoints to be educated on the WHO guidelines, highlighting that the risk of the virus spreading from companion animals to humans is extremely low. Reliable veterinary clinics and animal welfare groups must also be allowed to protect the animals of infected guardians.
During this time of crisis caused by the coronavirus, it’s important that everyone make an effort to protect companion animals from any potential abuse resulting from the spread of myths.
Please help us urge officials in Vietnam to stop killing animals over COVID-19 fears and to work on a veterinary guideline that protects animals during the pandemic.